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The Root of Failure is Comparison

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As personal growth is difficult, sometimes painful, affects people around us, and hopefully makes us better people, why do we compare ourselves to people who we are not trying to emulate?

Human nature seems to make us compare ourselves with others. Not necessarily a bad thing unless it is destructive. With social media no longer a new thing, we are now in a state of ‘how do we use it for our good and not a destructive thing’. We are, more than ever, bombarded with images of how we should dress, how we should look, what we should drive, how should we spend our time. Then we are also hit with other people’s unwanted opinions.

Whether you are a person of faith or not, a well delivered message is meant to resonate with you. If you attend business functions and have sat trying to stay awake after a lousy lunch, you know what I am talking about. A great message gets you so excited. It will make you think, a lot. It will make you dwell on how to make changes in your own world to make sure you are not making more mistakes and to make sure you are being the best you can be.

So now that I am writing every day, I am always thinking about what my next post is and whether this situation, or that thought would make a good post. Sunday, as I was sitting in church listening to one of our young pastors, his message, which was delivered beautifully, became a powerful thought process for me. Not only did his message hit me between the eyes as it pertained to me, but the more I thought about it, I knew that I needed to write about it.

The message this weekend was about, a person who should have been confident, powerful, had everything going his way, but then he became a wreck because he spent too much time comparing himself to others. Destructive. It’s crazy that a story so old is completely relevant today. We are a culture of comparison.

We should be happy our friend got a new car, not jealous. We should be proud that someone else just got a promotion and we are still waiting for ours. We should cheer on somebody who is losing weight even though we aren’t losing any. We should embrace the person that just booked the vacation of a lifetime and we can’t afford any time off.

Let’s become a culture of HOORAYS, GOOD FOR YOU’S, and I’M SO PROUD OF YOU’S!!

We should stop comparing ourselves to anybody that is not doing or being what we want. We need to stop worrying about other people's’ opinion and focus on what is important to ourselves. If you want to compare yourself to others, then do it with the mindset that you are looking to them as somebody to aspire to be like. But keep in mind the negative self talk is harmful.

So let’s be the change;

Wow, she looks great, good for her!
I am so happy they got a new car, good for them!
I will work hard for my promotion, too!
Success breeds success!
Be proud to have successful friends!

This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Cost of Poor Health

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How much did my poor health cost me?

As with many things in life, “people” are quick to offer unsolicited advice.

When I started my journey to health many people asked and still ask today “How can you afford to go to the Gym? How can you afford to hire a trainer?” I’m not going to get into self righteous or sarcastic responses, but ask a different question.

What is the cost of poor health, being overweight, out of shape, and eating poorly?

If you’ve read my introduction, you saw that I was under my doctors orders to remain at home in bed on medication for three months with double pneumonia. As the guy in charge of sales and in charge of my entrepreneurial venture, what does three months of salary loss look like? For me, let’s use a rough figure of $20,000 per month. Okay that’s $60,000. Revenue for my company stopped DEAD, however payroll and mortgages didn’t. Estimated cost $2.4 million in lost sales.

  • I was taking high blood pressure medication (3 different medications) $500.00 per month leading up to my health crash 18 years = $108,000
  • I had a CPAP machine for sleep apnea replaced every 2­-3 years at $2500 = $7500
  • My life insurance was rated at 150% premium due to my health. The extra premium was $1500/year. So, 6 years = $9000 so far. I have applied to have the rating removed now.
  • I’d estimate conservatively the personal financial cost was $124,500***
  • The estimated company cost $2.4 million.

These numbers may seem ridiculous to you, or maybe they are low? It doesn’t matter what the numbers are, you and I are paying a price for our health whether it’s for good health or bad health. From my own experience, good health is way cheaper.

 

BTW: I’m now medication free!

 

Seeing my kids grow up, get married, and have grandchildren, Priceless!

How Do We Get Past the Excuses

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I didn’t want to run today, but now that it’s done, WOW, it was great.

This is not a new thought nor am I alone in having it, but this is where your true commitment comes through; do it anyway.

I went to bed last night with great plans for the next day, sound familiar? But, when I got up this morning, I heard a very familiar sound, rain in the gutters. I actually love the sound of rain. Here on the west coast, if you let a little rain get in your way, you will get very little done outside. Besides, it was quite warm, 7c, for January. This week the east coast of the U.S. in particular, got thumped by a huge snow storm. So, I am not going to complain about a little rain. But the rain is just an excuse really, and there will always be excuses. I am quite sure in places like Scottsdale, the heat is the excuse sometimes. In Minneapolis, the cold will be the excuse. I bet in places with big mosquitoes like Winnipeg, the people use that. Although, I can’t imagine what the people in southern California would use as an excuse, maybe smog. There will always be an excuse.

Need shoes, no time, don’t know what to do, don’t want to go alone, nothing close by, it’s dark, it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s humid, it’s going to make my hair a mess, I will sweat, or even I just don’t feel like it.

Guess what sunshine, so what?

Other than injury, you should always try your best to make it happen. Yup, I have those days where it doesn’t matter how hard I try, I can’t fit a workout in, but I can’t let that drag me down. I just need to focus on tomorrow, what can I do to prevent that from happening, or can I? Sometimes it just happens. Move on. But other days, when I think back to the day, I find that I didn’t really try too hard to fit it in. But again, move on. If we dwell on the things that we didn’t do, we will tend to live there instead of just doing it.

So, how do we get past the excuses? How do we fit in a workout to our routine?

Write it down.
There is something about putting it in print that makes it real.

Put it in your calendar.
Treat your workout like an appointment with Mr Gym. Nobody else needs to know who your appointment is with. If your time is your own, make yourself an appointment.

Be prepared.
If it’s gym time you are carving out, put your clothes in a bag and have them ready to go.

Make your time realistic.
If your class is 30 min long, make sure you carve out time to get there, change, and shower afterward. Don’t shortchange yourself.

Take a friend.
Taking someone with you will make you more likely to stick with your commitment.

Make sure you actually like what you are planning on doing.
If you hate boxing classes, you will make every excuse to go, so don’t. Instead, pick something that you do enjoy. Unless, you are the accountability partner, then do your best for your friend. True friends do that.

Just do something.
When all else fails, just do something. Walking is great, swimming is good for the joints, golf works lots of areas, yoga has lots of benefits, even walking up and down your stairs is great for your butt. Just move.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin

Milk or No Milk, Should You Go Dairy-Free?

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We are talking calcium and more specifically milk, today.

Growing up as a kid, we drank a lot of milk. We had it at most meals and were encouraged to drink it. But times seem to have changed, yet again. This seems to be another food choice that people are choosing to stay away from.

Let’s start;  Why should we drink milk?

We drink milk because our bodies need the calcium that comes from it. Most mammals consume milk as infants.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. By definition:

“ Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions. The remaining 99% of the body's calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function. Bone itself undergoes continuous remodeling, with constant resorption and deposition of calcium into new bone.  The balance between bone resorption and deposition changes with age. Bone formation exceeds resorption in periods of growth in children and adolescents, whereas in early and middle adulthood both processes are relatively equal. In aging adults, particularly among postmenopausal women, bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time.”

The above quote is just part of a very detailed article I found. If you want more scientific details,
here is the link.

Calcium Fact Sheet

Cow’s milk is not the only sources of calcium. Yogurt and cheese are rich natural sources of calcium and are the major food contributors for most North Americans. Non dairy sources include vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Spinach provides calcium, but its bioavailability is poor. Most grains do not have high amounts of calcium unless they are fortified; however, they contribute calcium to the diet because they contain small amounts of calcium and people consume a lot of them. Foods fortified with calcium include many fruit juices and drinks, tofu, and cereals. There are also a lot of milk alternatives out there; almond, coconut, soy, rice, even hemp milk.

I read a tonne of research papers and studies and there seems to be a general lack of hard evidence to prove that drinking milk will actually do you harm. Some studies found that our bodies don’t absorb as much calcium from the milk as we have been lead to believe. Other studies completely contradict that.

So there seems to only be one opinion that matters, yours.

Unless you are lactose intolerance, then there is no good reason to avoid drinking milk. The experts do agree that if you do choose to drink milk, you should drink the lowest fat content that you can, skim being the best. Make sure that if you are drinking it for the protein, the alternatives are lacking there, but if it’s about the calcium choose what you like best.

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. Barbara Jordan